Every year we give our premium content members a team-by-team, player-by-player look at the NFL season that was. The coverage will be in-depth, but because the Dynasty Capsule series begins immediately after the regular season, we won’t use it to discuss free agency or the draft. Come see us in early May once Mr. Irrelevant is off the board for another 32-article series giving you the same detailed discussion you’ll see below.
Buckle up dynasty fans, because you’re about to be reminded why our motto is, “There is no off-season.”
Growing up in the DC area, I’m all too familiar with the Washington professional football team’s antics. My friends, most of whom are die-hard fans, gloat every single off-season about that year’s big off-season pick-up. “Haynesworth is gonna be the sickest,” “Donovan McNabb is the answer we needed at QB” and so on. Needless to say, that has very rarely panned out for the team. As we went into the 2015 season off-season, I classically expected the Redskins to make high profile free agent pickups as only Dan Synder and Jerry Jones can do. To my shock, this year no signing of any real ‘flash’ happened and even more shocking, they didn’t make any obvious reaches in the draft and seemed to draft based off talent.
With the hiring of Scot McCloughan as general manager of the team, the Redskins seem to be on a path of becoming football relevant again. The 2015 Redskins exceeded even the most devote of Redskin’s fans expectations (trust me, I know a lot of them). Kirk Cousins made even non-Skins fans ‘like that’ as he commanded the offense and slammed the door on RG3’s future with the team. My friends weren’t even mad when the Skins lost in the first round of the playoffs due to being “happy to be there already”. What a crazy turnaround from a team that looked to be in for a rough 2015.
There are some big question marks coming up in 2016 free agency and it will play a big role in how competitive the Skins really are in the next few years. Needless to say, the arrow is pointing up in a big way for the Washington Redskins. Let’s discuss each of their skill positions and breakdown the dynasty value for each.
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Robert Griffin III (FA)
The QB diva whose draft pick single-handedly set the Redskins other skill positions back a couple of years. RG3 did his best emo teenager impression when he left a hand-written motivational note on his locker when he left the facility this off-season. It is crystal clear that RG3 will not be back in Washington next year. It’s also quasi-clear that if Griffin doesn’t get his emotions and ego under control, his next NFL stop will be his last as a starter.
When we saw Griffin this preseason, he looked ill-prepared for his opportunity to seize back the starting job in DC. Jay Gruden yanked him and put in Kirk Cousins who really looked like he wanted to be there and had prepared for the opportunity. Griffin never sniffed the field again.
Griffin’s dynasty value has bottomed out, and it wouldn’t shock me if he was sitting on the waiver wire in your league. He’s a pure dynasty flyer with upside at this point in his career. He has all the God-given talent in the world but appears to be too stubborn or lazy to maximize his potential.
I estimate his value in a 1QB league at a late 3rd round rookie pick and his superflex value around a late 2nd round pick, currently. I won’t be a buyer this off-season as he hasn’t demonstrated the ability to put his head down and get to work. If he doesn’t do that, his team and coach won’t respect him and he won’t be in the league for long.
Kirk Cousins (FA)
I like that! It would appear everyone did except his opponents. As someone who generally gets unfounded joy out of watching Redskins fans suffer, it was really a pleasant surprise to find myself rooting for Cousins this season. As a free agent this off-season, I expect the ‘Skins to lock him up pretty early with an Andy Dalton-esque team friendly deal. Cousins threw for 4,166 yards, 11 interceptions and 29 touchdowns (rushed for 5 more) and maintained nearly a 70 percent completion rating in his 2015 campaign. He looked like a top-five league QB with a mediocre cast surrounding him. I’m still not completely sold on Cousins but that argument is getting harder and harder to make. If he shows up in 2016, I’m going to be one of the last to the Cousins party.
His current dynasty value is around an early-2nd in 1QB leagues and a mid-late 1st in superflex leagues. I’m a buyer at cheaper prices and full disclosure, I don’t own him anywhere. The price is a little too high on a guy who still has a lot of prove. However, he’s looked impressive thus far proving it.
Alfred Morris (FA)
I’d be shocked if the Redskins decided to pay Alf this off-season prior to letting him hit free agency. Their draft last year seemed to show their hand by picking up another running back in Florida rookie, Matt Jones. Morris didn’t help his cause with his 2015 performance. He only managed 750 yards and 1 TD on the ground with just a 3.7 YPC. He also was part of a true backfield split with Jones. With the free agent RB class in 2016, I expect Morris to get a very mediocre deal and maybe even see his best offer come from a Washington team that wants to underpay him if pay him at all.
Morris has shown himself valuable as a bell cow, but with the 2016’s NFL, I doubt he ever gets that opportunity again. I expect him to remain on the RB3/4 radar in 2016. His days of being a 1st-2nd round startup pick are done.
I place his value around a mid-2nd currently, but I expect that price to fall as free agency goes on. I’d hold off if you were planning to buy and buy him in a couple of months as the current owner begins to panic.
Jones was picked up in the 3rd round of the 2015 draft by Washington. He flashed early in the season and seemed to fizzle a bit as the year went on. Most of the dynasty community has crowned him the heir in Washington but there are pockets (including me) who don’t see him as a ‘bell cow’ runner. This is another player that I do not own in any leagues due to his price being too high. If he becomes a complete stud next year, I’ll have a decent bit of crow and regret to digest.
Let’s not talk my eyeball bias against him, however. Jones should get the opportunity to command most of the ground game in Washington in 2016 and has a really nice ability to catch the ball as well. His dynasty value is on the uptick and should continue to climb into the first few weeks of the 2016 season.
If you are an owner who wants out, I’d wait until preseason or week 1. I’d want to get a 1st round pick for him at that time. If you are a believer, he’s certainly worth more than that. While the dynasty community figures out Jones, I’d expect to see a number of off-season deals with him involved.
Chris Thompson (ERFA)
Thompson came out of the blue this season, and snagged the role of 3rd down back in an already muddy three-headed monster. He showed just enough to hold a roster spot in 2016. Thompson only really has value in PPR leagues since he doesn’t have any meaningful rush attempts. In PPR, he will remain a bye-week desperation player.
I don’t believe Thompson has any real trade value in dynasty and haven’t seen any deals for him on my timeline. He is a sneaky PPR best-ball stash and end of roster guy who will maybe see one game in your starting lineup.
Here’s a fun fact: the Redskins can save $6.75 million by cutting Jackson this off-season. I’d lay odds that that Jackson isn’t back with the team in 2016 but it wouldn’t completely shock me if he was back due to lack of wide receiver depth. Regardless of Jackson’s status with the team, you should expect to see the ‘Skins draft a wide receiver or two this year.
Now that Cousins has come into the picture, the team will need to surround him with weapons. Jackson showed he has something left in the tank this year but was plagued by a hamstring injury. Jackson will most certainly find another deal if he hits the market, but his dynasty value is starting to diminish as he is on brink of 30 years old.
I’m selling Jackson this off-season especially if he lands somewhere exciting. Trusting an aging “speed guy” to maintain his dynasty value is a sure fire way to end up taking a massive loss on your player. He’s still worth an early second to the right buyer. Go find that buyer and get him off your team.
Garcon has a nearly identical situation to Jackson. He is turning 30, and has a big hit on the Redskins cap space if he stays. His 2016 salary is worth $7.6 million. He managed 777 (lucky) yards and 6 TDs in 2015. Garcon continues to be a WR3/4 in dynasty but he seemed to lose a step in 2015. Even if he goes to another team, I’d expect his value to remain largely unchanged with a few exceptions.
I haven’t seen any trades with him involved but I’d estimate his value at a mid-3rd round pick. If I have Garcon, I am just holding due to lack of interest in the market. He’s more valuable on the back of a contending team’s roster than a 3rd round flyer.
Crowder has the size you’d expect from a slot receiver. He proved to be a young, solid option for Captain Kirk. He played all 16 games and managed 604 yards and 2 TDs. Crowder is a player I’m keeping my eye on. It seems that Cousins and Washington like him a lot. I expect them to find ways to get him more involved in 2016 especially if Garcon and Jackson move on. He’s got WR3 upside if he reaches his potential.
This is another player I don’t see traded too much. Owners tend to value him more than buyers will pay. I doubt you can find a Crowder owner low enough on him, but I’d be a buyer at an early 3rd.
WHOA, Reed broke out this year. Down the stretch, Reed challenged Rob Gronkowski for overall TE1 rank going bananas from week 14 onwards. Talent has never been the question for Reed. He’s got buckets of it. The injury concerns are really what scare the dynasty community. In a world full of TE muddiness, Reed seems to transcend when healthy. His health really has been the question since coming into the league and he’s a couple concussions away from retirement.
On the bright side, I didn’t see as many bone-headed moves from Reed this year. He stopped hurdling defenders and putting himself on a platter for big hits. If Reed performs for another year like this and maintains healthy, there will be discussions in the community over him or Gronkowski as the TE1.
Reed is a sell for me when the hype train really gets rolling this off-season. He will end up being worth a couple of firsts if things keep going as they are currently.
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